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review 2017-11-07 19:00
Deadbomb Bingo Ray by Jeff Johnson
Deadbomb Bingo Ray - Jeff Johnson

Mark my words readers, Jeff Johnson is an author to watch! I haven't yet read anything from him that I haven't enjoyed, and as such he's one of my go-to authors.

 

In DEADBOMB BINGO RAY, we have a tall, handsome "fixer" who earned his nickname during an unfortunate incident at a casino. He earned his reputation the hard way and everyone knows who he is and stays clear.

 

That is, until he finds himself on the radar of one Tim Cantwell, a man he's already taken down once. Unfortunately, Cantwell did not learn his lesson the first time around and now he's looking for revenge. Throw in the beautiful Mary Chapman, a black man named Skuggy, DBR's secretary Agnes, her son Cody, and the new love of his life, Abigail, and you have a memorable cast of characters. Will Cantwell be successful in his bid for revenge? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I need to get one thing straight with you-DEADBOMB BINGO RAY is NOT a hero. He is not a good guy. What he is is a thinker-capable of masterminding schemes and plans that make Lex Luthor look like a drooling idiot recently escaped from the asylum. Oh, and he sometimes kills people.

 

What makes this story so entertaining is the characters. Even though DBR isn't a good guy, you cannot help but admire the style with which he goes about his nefarious deeds. His home sounds beautiful, he rescued a Pomeranian, and, (like most of Johnson's main characters), he cooks. His secretary Agnes hates Woody Allen so much,(because of the situation with his step-daughter), she tells everyone she meets that she's going to kill him. She also loves dogs. Ray's friend and sometime assistant, Skuggy, is an hilarious mystery of a man with long fingernails and colorful language, who likes Newports. All of these characters are so vividly drawn and real, they seem to come to life with little to no effort on the part of Johnson. He makes it look easy.

 

There is plenty of material here that will offend people; as previously stated DBR is not a good guy. People die. Some animals die. That's part of the gritty reality of this neo-noir world and that's who these people are. At least when they are committing crimes, they do it stylishly.

 

One more thing I want to mention is the inclusion of song titles/bands throughout the novel, many of which I weren't familiar with. I did not listen to all of them, but when I had the opportunity and the means to do so, I did. I felt like these songs helped to set the mood of what was coming next and I also thought it helped to achieve an almost movie-like experience while reading.

 

These are all the reasons I said at the start that Jeff Johnson is an author to watch. Every book I've read from him so far is totally different from the rest, but they all have one thing in common and that is STYLE. I like it and hopefully you will too!

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get a copy here: Deadbomb Bingo Ray

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss and Turner Publications in exchange for my honest review. This is it. *

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review 2017-10-16 17:26
The High Window / Raymond Chandler
The High Window - Raymond Chandler

A wealthy Pasadena widow with a mean streak, a missing daughter-in-law with a past, and a gold coin worth a small fortune—the elements don't quite add up until Marlowe discovers evidence of murder, rape, blackmail, and the worst kind of human exploitation.

 

 

I read this book for the “Noir” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

I didn’t enjoy The High Window quite as much as I loved The Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely, but I still really liked it. Marlowe is a great main character—he’s idealistic, realistic and cynical, all rolled into one. I think someone close to the end of this book calls him a “shop-soiled Galahad,” and that really struck me as accurate. I also loved a couple of the literary allusions that he made, just assuming that the reader would be able to follow him. I love it when an author expects sophistication on the part of his readers!

The plot in this one seemed a bit simpler to me, although there was still a bit of a surprise at the end. Of the three of Chandler’s books that I’ve read, this one seemed the least noir to me, although it certainly still fits in the genre. Chandler is an exceptional writer and I am so glad to have found his novels!

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review 2017-10-08 10:04
The Thin Man
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

by Dashiell Hammett

 

New York 1932, the last days of prohibition. Nick and Nora are a couple who spend much of their time in hotels and speakeasies drinking copious amounts of alcohol. I found them very shallow characters and the book very dialogue heavy.

 

After a gruesome news story I'd rather not have read about a grizzly murder, Nick, a former detective, takes an interest and wants to investigate. This leads to encounters with various low life characters.

 

I had to push myself to read this, but it was blessedly short and one more well known story ticked off my list. I can see how it did better as a movie. It had that 40's film feeling to it, all stiff dialogue and Rita Hayworth flipping her hair (okay so Myrna Loy played the role, it's that era).

 

I can't say that I actually cared about the characters at any point. I'm not big on murder mysteries so the plot wasn't of great interest for me. The lack of description made it difficult to visualise the surroundings or much of what the characters looked like or wore so any clues had to come from the dialogue.

 

The thing I've most taken away from this read was the knowledge that this is not a genre for me, though I've committed to reading one more by the same author, just because it's that well known.

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text 2017-10-07 18:42
Halloween Bingo -- Classic Noir -- The Thin Man -- NO BINGO
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

 

 

I read The Thin Man on 14 September for the Classic Noir buddy read.

 

I believe there are six squares that can still be called without giving me a Bingo.

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review 2017-09-17 16:18
The Thin Man
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

It isn´t a good sign for a book if the dog, who gets occasionally mentioned, is the best thing about the whole story. I loved Asta.

 

And that´s about the only thing I liked about this book. Having read Raymond Chandler´s Farewell, my Lovely about a week ago, I can´t help to compare these two books. Where Chandler´s work has a flawed, yet likable main character, a gripping and fast-paced story and awesome dialogues, The Thin Man has a bunch of lunatics wading through a story that didn´t grip me at all. 

 

If there has been some witty banter between the characters, I didn´t get it. Nick is a complete ass, Nora is bordering between being idiotic and smart (depending on her alcohol level, I guess), Mimi should have a ward of her own in a mental asylum and don´t get me started on her two children. The Wynants are the prime example of a dysfunctional family. 

 

I had a slight suspicion about the ending

 

Clyde Wynant being dead all the time

(spoiler show)

but in the end I couldn´t care less about this book.

 

Since I have read this for the halloween bingo buddy read, I´m allowed to use it for any square I want. I´m choosing the "Magical Realism" square, since I´m not in the mood for this genre at the moment.

 

 

 

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